I believe I have shown remarkable restraint. It is nearly the end of July and I have not posted my annual summer weather whine. Since I live in a place where summer begins in May and does not conclude until November, I think I deserve some credit for avoiding a meltdown before now.
Time’s up, though.
I reside in Florida, which is pretty much like saying I live in Satan’s sinus cavity during the summer months. It is hot, moist, sticky, and slimy virtually all the time. The air is heavy with humidity. It is so thick with unshed rain and mosquitos; breathing is hazardous to one’s health. Of course, not breathing is even more hazardous, so we soldier on with the aid of life support- air conditioning. I know some people who do not leave their artificially cooled compartments for months.
Thunder does not rumble; it crashes and pummels. Rain does not pool in my yard; it oceans. So far this summer, we have been pretty lucky in that we have not yet had multiple consecutive days of catastrophic rainstorms. Often, we will have thirty rainy days in a row… or more. One summer, I counted sixty-two consecutive rainy days. Even Noah and all those animals only had to cope with forty. People will say, “yes, it does rain every day, but it is only for half an hour in the early evening.” These people are purposely misleading you. To be fair, it does rain for only a brief time on some days. Most days, the rain is much more significant. Some days, I feel like I should not leave the house without a hairdryer… for my clothes and shoes. I will never forget the year I acquired smurf feet because I walked from the car to the grocery store in blue shoes.
Summer is also growing season, which sounds very nice and idyllic. However, growing season in my household simply means weed season. Any plant I try to grow intentionally tends to die in the summer, even if I have kept it alive for months, because the heat is so intense that the leaves incinerate spontaneously. The weeds, however, seem to have no such delicacy. Max and I pull weeds and trim the bushes early every Saturday morning. In the winter, this task means putting on a sweatshirt and leggings. It means about 10 to 15 minutes of easy work. There is little need to bend over or squat because almost all the weeds have succumbed to my weekly Round-up application. In the summer, it is already about a million degrees when we start work at 7:30. The force of the heat and humidity compresses my skeleton into my internal organs as soon as I walk out of the door. Even though I am faithfully applying the Round-up, the summer weeds propagate at such an alarming rate that our task takes easily twice as long than in the winter. I can barely stand outside for five minutes, much less bend to pick weeds, without dissolving into a puddle of gooey, humidity-seasoned sweat.
Satan’s sinus cavity feels infected in the summer. There is something like decay that fills the air. And, speaking of sinus cavities, mine does not do so well in the summer, either. Something about the air pressure or about the humidity or the weeds that grow with wild abandon triggers seasonal allergies I never knew I had until I moved to Florida. I have a near constant headache and raw respiratory system. I test myself for COVID way more than should be necessary, but I want to be sure I am not contributing to a worldwide pandemic. Every time I test, it turns out it is just my sinuses raging against the summer machine.
And, this year, I found a fresh new annoyance in the summer repertoire. Does anyone else get more achy during times of heat and humidity? I thought arthritis was supposed to get worse when it is cold. I am nearly 63 years old. My body is aware of this number. I have my fair share of tenderness and pain in my joints, ligaments, muscles, and menisci during the Days of Wine and Roses (November through April). This year, May welcomed in a whole new level of body aches. The discomfort has increased with the passing (way too slowly) days of summer. It feels like all of the bones around my joints are bound within a ring of calcified bone material that is gradually tightening. I do not want to overstate because I know many people suffer much more than I do from arthritis and other age-related health problems. I am, blessedly, pretty healthy. My point is simply that I did notice a significant uptick in my body’s resistance to age this summer.
When I researched this phenomenon online, I learned that there are studies that suggest that barometric pressure, humidity, and various other summer weather phenomenon do have a negative impact on arthritis. Other studies proclaim that there is no impact at all. These studies suggest that the summer, in and of itself, has no impact. The problem is that the uncomfortable conditions make the patient cranky, thereby reducing their tolerance to pain.
I will not argue with that. Cranky sounds about right.
So what’s the weather like where you are? What season do you find most difficult to endure and why? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have an unsticky day!